Monday, January 29, 2007
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Remembering Milton Friedman
Only 20 minutes left for Milton Friedman day, so here are a few salient links:
1) At Open U., Richard Stern reports on the memorial service at the University of Chicago:posted by Dan on 01.29.07 at 06:51 PM
Krugman tries to make a case that Friedman was "dishonest" in some of his public pronouncements, particularly about the causes of the Depression. Yet he distorts the plain meaning of Friedman's words to make the point:
"By 1976 Friedman was telling readers of Newsweek that 'the elementary truth is that the Great Depression was produced by government mismanagement,' a statement that his readers surely took to mean that the Depression wouldn't have happened if only the government had kept out of the way—when in fact what Friedman and Schwartz claimed was that the government should have been more active, not less."
To say, as Friedman did, that the depression was caused by government mismanagement is not to suggest, as Krugman would interpret these words, that the government should have kept out of the way. Rather, the words mean that the government should have managed things better (Friedman believed in particular that the Fed's failure to prevent early bank closings was the principal reason the Depression was so disastrous.)
If you take Krugman's logic seriously, then it is apparent that those who say government mismanagement of Katrina caused a lot of suffering are in fact arguing that the government should have kept out of the way. Yeah, Paul, that's what they mean....posted by: JohnF on 01.29.07 at 06:51 PM [permalink]
Krugman isn't worthy to erase Friedman's blackboard.posted by: john perulfi on 01.29.07 at 06:51 PM [permalink]
While [Krugman]'s theoretical work is universally admired by professional economists, there's much more ambivalence about his policy pronouncements and especially his popularizing. And it must be said that there were some serious questions about his intellectual honesty when he was speaking to the mass public.
Yep, the replacement works.posted by: TW Andrews on 01.29.07 at 06:51 PM [permalink]
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